NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Police searching for two young boys made a gruesome discovery Monday evening.
Officials had been looking for Devine Nicholas, 11, and his friend, 10-year-old Francisco Perera, both of whom went missing on Sunday night.
New Brunswick Police confirmed Monday night that the two bodies they discovered around 6 p.m. belonged to Nicholas and Perera. The bodies were pulled from the Raritan River just a few hundred feet apart.
1010 WINS’ Glenn Schuck reports
Jennifer Smakolski said she saw the boys Sunday night and wondered about their safety, only to watch helplessly on Monday as officials pulled them from the water.
“I saw the two kids walking in the water. It was low tide and they were walking in the dirt. So I asked them, ‘can you swim?’ And they said ‘yes,'” Smakolski told CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider.
Perera told his mother he was going to a park near his house and that he was going with Nicholas.
But the two boys wandered over to Boyd Park instead, where police searched by air and water all day after getting reports that someone spotted a body in the river.
“It’s really scary to see a young boy, pulled out of the water like that. Really sad for the family,” Ramone Martinez said.
At the home of 11-year-old Nicholas, police escorted his family outside to a waiting car to make the heartbreaking trip to identify their young son.
“It’s something you don’t want to see. Little kids are supposed to have supervision. It’s really sad,” Carlos Nunez said.
It is a tragedy that gave pause to the dozen people lined on the banks of the river, especially Smakolski, who saw the boys just hours before their deaths.
“You have to be careful. Make sure you know where the kids are,” Smakolski said.
The boys lived about two miles from where they were found.
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